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BERA Publishes new Race Equality Policy

BERA has agreed an ambitious policy and action plan for addressing racial inequities within the Association and within the wider research community. It also redoubles our commitment to bringing BERA’s resources and expertise to bear on wider issues of inequality and discrimination in education and society. 

The policy – which affirms BERA’s rejection of any form of discrimination on grounds of sex, gender, gender reassignment, age, race, ethnic or national origins, colour, marital status, sexuality, family responsibility, disability or impairment, religious or other beliefs – is specifically concerned with tackling racial discrimination. Other, wider equality issues are being addressed in other ways across the organisation. 

In developing this policy and action plan, BERA intends to change the structural and institutional inequities and unjust power imbalances that affect our members and the wider research community – and which impede BERA’s work by denying us the benefits and advantages that diversity offers. The new policy commits us to monitoring our selection and assessment criteria and procedures to ensure that these do not discriminate unfairly or perpetuate inequalities, and to improve support and mentoring for BAME members.  

More broadly, it recognises the need to measure the success of this policy and its associated action plan, and to adjust and develop it accordingly. It is not intended to be immutable or exhaustive: we welcome feedback and input from our members and other stakeholders, particularly but not only those with BAME backgrounds.  

The action plan sets out a number of targets and concrete means of achieving them, which are presented here in summary. 

  • At least 15 per cent of the collective membership of BERA Council and committees should be BAME by the end of 2022; this proportion should rise to at least 18 per cent by 2024, when each committee should have at least one member from a BAME background.
  • At least 15 per cent of all speakers at BERA-organised events should be BAME by 2022, rising to at least 20 per cent in 2023Where an event has four or more speakers, at least one speaker must be BAME. 
  • We will report aggregated numbers on the race and ethnicity of applicants for BERA awards or funding opportunities, and the outcomes of those opportunities.
  • We will establish at least one strategic partnership with an organisation that can help develop BERA’s work on diversity and inclusion by the end of 2021.
  • At least 15 per cent of our combined editorial teams and boards should be BAME by the end of 2022, rising to at least 20 per cent by 2024.
  • Continue to run events and publish blogs and other material on racial equality and other issues affecting BAME communities, with the support of BERA’s Race, Ethnicity and Education special interest group.

Read the new policy and action plan in full here